Main research question
How can dairy farmers better substantiate their strategic business decisions (growth, rearing young stock, manure disposal, etc.) in a way that is tailored to their farm, within an ever-changing market and social context? ILVO has already produced a first version of a scientifically based decision tool for this sector. The ambition of the ROUTEPLANNER MELKVEE 2.0 project is to make this tool even more user-friendly, more accurate and more widely applicable. We are therefore scaling up the existing Dairy Cattle Route Planner and also making it complementary to other existing tools.
The researchers are again starting from the successful participatory approach from the existing Routeplanner experiences. During development, the 'Dairy Cattle Routeplanner 2.0' will be continuously tested with the sector. Links to existing databases and integration into existing advisory services will strengthen existing advisory initiatives.
Today, dairy farms are confronted with shrinking margins and increased social expectations regarding sustainability. With a planning tool that integrates economics, the social dimension and the environment, farmers are better-equipped to consider their choices for quality of life, a better life for the farm families, and substantial environmental and climate benefits, starting from the actual situation on the farm.